Saint-Étienne fans threw a tantrum over a Zlatan Ibrahimović goal

Is this a goal? Pretty obvious, right? Video review is beautiful, but thankfully, such complicated technologies weren’t needed in yesterday’s Coupe de France quarterfinal between Saint-Etienne and Paris Saint-Germain. Mid-way through the second half, Zlatan Ibrahimović “breasted” in the match’s only goal, though goalkeeper Stéphane Ruffier and the fans disagreed. Through the magic of complete lack of perspective and blind, unwavering bias, the keeper insisted he’d kept the ball out. Unfortunately for the hosts, the assistant referee got the call right, and the Parisians left Stade Geoffroy-Guichard with a 1-0 win.

Before the final whistle blew, however, ASSE’s fans threw a hissy fit, forcing players to be pulled from the field while debris rained down from the stands. The reaction was understandable in a game where people pride themselves on passion over perspective, but sometimes, the latter should win out. Sure, you might think you saw the ball cross the line, but you might have been looking at the play with your crazy eyes, and you’re certainly not as well trained as the linesman.

In a more balanced world, “no way that wasn’t a goal” would be followed up with “Well, we’ll just have to wait and see,” knowing that you’re not the first fan to see things from a biased view. If supporters could be relied on for objective conclusions, applause-o-meters would replace those pricey officials.

That may seem harsh on fans who give their love and passion and spirit and violence to the game, but we’re living in 2014. No, 2015, now. We know we’ll have access to replays, though even before that technology was developed, philosophers had already put in 400 years of work on how flawed our senses can be. We can’t help our emotions, but damned if we can’t restrain ourselves from launching our crepes onto the field.

Zlatan Ibrahimović scores a lot of goals. Some bend the back of the net. A few creep across the line. We can’t be throwing our Toys Out of the Pram® every time he gets on the scoresheet. There are only so many toys in the world, and throwing them onto soccer field is probably the worst way to use them.


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